The Side Factor (Jam)

Posted by (twitter: @ericraue)
April 30th, 2013 2:56 pm

The Side Factor is a local 2 player turn based strategy game. It explores the idea of creating a strategy game with a minimal number of unit types, in this case only 1. The core mechanic is shooting through things.

What went right

  1. Paper prototyping – We used a Chess board and some folded pieces of papeto iterate over the concept of shooting through things. Originally we played with a rule that you could capture enemy pieces by straddling it on both sides and shooting through it. That was abandoned in favour of gameplay where players never lost any pieces.
  2. Audio design – One of the reasons why I entered the jam instead of the compo was to work with a fantastic audio designer, Gordon McGladdery. I spent a lot of time implementing it and adjusting the animations so it felt right.
  3. Visual design & polish – Gameplay was completed on Sunday so I spent all of Monday polishing it. It’s one of the prettiest games I’ve made in a game jam. Below is a series of progress shots from the end of Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.


What went wrong

  1. The Theme – Minimalism is not a great theme when you assemble a team ahead of time to create a highly polished game. Instead of focusing on aesthetic minimalism we tried to explore it through gameplay. When I created the instructions on the website I realized even though there was one unit type the rules weren’t that compact.
  2. Playtesting – It’s really difficult to playtest a 2 player game by yourself and writing an AI was out of the question.
  3. Publishing on Android – One of my goals was to release this on the Google Play store. It runs surprisingly well on my Nexus S but still needs some optimizations, buttons need to be bigger, and support for different aspect ratios. It’s still in the cards but a post jam version with playtesting and tweaks instead.


Play Now (Unity web – Mac/Win/Linux binaries too!)

The side Factor

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